Monday, March 24, 2008

What I Do With My Scraps

Carolyn asked the question,"What do you do with your scraps?" Here's my answer.
Sometimes I fold them and place them into my scrap box and they are never seen again.
Sometimes,I give them away.
Sometimes,I make dolls.
Sometimes ,I make little bag for gifts or to sell at craft fairs or bazaars.
This one is pieced together and was inspired by one of the local fiber artist.This one became a canvas for one of my paintings.

This one features fabric scraps and a knitting gauge piece.

All are lined with more scrap fabric.
I'm planning to make a few pin cushions which were featured in "Quilts and More " magazine. Scrap projects are great when you need an immediate gratification boost.Especially after a difficult or frustrating sewing project.I glad Carolyn asked that question. She's so inspiring.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Steam-A-Seam Tutorial

I think tutorials are so helpful and I've learned a lot from many others by reading theirs . So I thought I'd try6 and give back by sharing a little joy of mine called Steam-A-Seam.I use it often but most recently in a shirt yoke application. Steam-A-Seam (I will refer to this as SAS) is a fusible tape that doesn't gum up your machine needle and it doesn't add unneeded thickness to your fabric.I was making a cotton shirt using McCalls 5587 which has a yoke in back.This is the method I use.

Here's my first tutorial I hope it's helpful..This makes yoke application and top stitching a breeze.First tear of a strip of SAS and apply the sticky side down to inside shoulder seam allowance which has been press and trimmed to 3/4 inches.

Peel away the paper,exposing the fusible webbing.
Apply the folded,webbed edge of the yoke facing to the shoulder seam and outer yoke.
Press with steam and do not move the fabric until it is cool.

Now you are ready top stitch without the worry of slipping layers. I use a blind hem foot to give me straight top stitching.Simply butt the edge of the seam to the lip of the foot and sew.I hope this picture is clear enough to see that the white plastic in my foot is touching the raised edge of the seam. Adjust the foot to the distance of your choice to sew from the edge.I like 1/8 and 3/8. The result is 2 parallel rows of top stitching and a joined yoke in fewer and faster steps than the usual method of hand stitching.It looks equally as nice inside as well.
I also use SAS to attach patch pockets.I respect the art of couture hand stitching but most of the time my sewing time is limited and I need great clothes fast. Try it you'll like it.I finished this shirt and a second this past weekend. I have to sew on the buttons and then I'll post photos.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Sewing Expo

This past Saturday I went to the Original Sewing Expo in Atlanta with my friend Faye .We shopped,enjoyed fashion shows,and shopped some more. Here's Faye enjoying Vogue Fabrics. She is so much fun. I'm glad she was with me.
Here are the goodies I picked up. The lavender fabric is linen and the booklet are from Louise Cutting.The patterns and double tracing wheel are from Vogue Fabrics.
I also got this fabulous Rowenta iron,which I have already put to the test and I love it ! It steams forever. I've aways hated ironing but after using this baby,it's a cake walk. I even ironed DH work clothes and DD school uniform for the week.They usually iron their own clothes and were quite surprised.

The thing that I like most about the sewing expos are the New Designer Fashion Show.I enjoy seeing how the designers use the a few patterns to create several different looks. They make small changes,use different fabrics and embellishment techniques to make a full and flattering wardrobe. I never make changes and mostly stick to the suggested fabric listed on the pattern envelope. I have returned from this show filled with inspiration. The pattern is just a vehicle,I can take it as far as I want,in any direction. I love sewing!!!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The New Chick

There's a new chick in my sewing room! She has been wearing my clothes but,I don't mind. She's been a great help so far. Her name is Claire. She hasn't been adjusted or belly-padded yet. I'll do that later after some study on how to do it.
One of my Sewing resolutions for this year was to learn more about fitting.This weekend I bought this book to start me on that quest.Many of of the sewing/blogging sisters have this book in their library and have given it the thumbs up. I love blogging.There is so much good advice available. Just ask and you get honest answers,not paid endorsements.I've been reading though it during lunch break at work and I can't wait to get started.I'm going to hold off until after the Sewing Expo in Atlanta, this Saturday.I'm almost too excited about that to concentrate on much else.

I did get some sewing done this past weekend.Last Friday I got this pattern and some fabric from Hancock Fabrics ....

and by 2:00am Saturday morning I finished this shirt and cut out another.I love uninterupted late-night sewing.After sewing until wee hours I got up early enough to hit the yard sales and found this for $1.00.
Old school sewing books are full of forgotten basics(grain line,marking,pressing,etc) and cool retro details.This book is my bedtime read this week. If you should stumble upon this book,grab it.I think you'll like it. I'll be sharing what I learn in future posts.